Scallop, king prawn and lobster fregola

Fregola is a small Sardinian pasta shape that is very similar to cous cous and lends itself to a range of recipes. It can be boiled like normal pasta but I have cooked it here like you would a risotto so a little time and patience is needed but it really is worth the effort.

This recipe uses a mixture of all my favourite seafood and is perfect for a special occasion when a little extra luxury and indulgence is needed. Feel free to add in any extras such as mussels or squid which would also be delicious. I chose to use king prawns that still have the shell on as this adds to the flavour and keeps them beautifully juicy and tender.

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Ingredients- serves 2
200g fregola
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
Half a red chilli- deseeded and finely chopped
6 vine ripened plum tomatoes- skin removed (if you like) and chopped
100ml dry white wine
600ml hot vegetable stock
2 lobster tails- shell removed and cut into bite sized pieces
100g small scallops
100g raw king prawns with shell on
Salt and pepper
Handful of parsley- finely chopped

1. Get going by heating the olive oil over a medium heat in a wide pan- I use one that resembles a paella pan and it heats evenly and the finished dish looks great in it. Cook the onion and garlic together until softened but make sure it does not colour. Pop in the chilli and cook for a further minute or two- a pinch of chilli flakes can also be used if you prefer but only a small pinch is needed.

2. Add in the white wine and simmer until reduced by half before adding the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are starting to break down and release their juices. Stir in the fregola and ensure it is well combined with the onion mixture. Now for the stock and stirring! Add the hot stock little by little and, as you would with a risotto, add the next amount when the previous has been absorbed by the fregola. Fregola should take around half and hour to become tender. Stir from time to time; I also covered the pan to keep the moisture in. Towards the end of cooking, check and adjust seasoning to taste.

3. Next up goes the seafood and this could not be more simple. All you need to do is add the lobster tail meat, scallops and king prawns on top of the fregola, cover the pan and steam for a few minutes until the prawns and lobster are cooked through and the scallops are tender. Finish with a sprinkling of parsley and serve immediately.

Scallop, king prawn and lobster fregola- an impressive meal for many occasions!

Indulgent lobster and saffron cream garganelli

Most people would reach for the perennial classic, linguine, when they are making a seafood based pasta however this recipe uses garganelli instead. Garganelli are small quills with delicate ridges which hold a rich creamy pasta sauce beautifully.  I bought mine from my local Italian deli, Buongiorno Italia, which is a must visit if you ever find yourselves in St Albans- www.buongiornoitalia.co.uk. I challenge you to only buy what you intended in there and nothing more!

To make this recipe accessible I used one lobster tail per person however two would be fabulous if you have a few extra pennies going spare or of course a whole lobster. This lobster tail pasta is indulgent and extravagant but worth the effort so read on…

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Ingredients- serves 2
200g garganelli pasta
2 lobster tails- shell removed and kept whole
1 garlic clove- crushed
100ml white wine (or champagne!)
100ml double cream
Pinch of saffron
Small handful of flat leaf parsley- finely chopped
Olive oil
Knob of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to season

1. Start off by bringing a pan of water up to the boil and cooking the garganelli until al dente; drain well.

2. Whilst that is cooking away, take a large frying pan, heat to medium and add a glug of oil plus a knob of butter. Pop in the lobster tails, cover the pan with a lid and cook for a few minutes until tender. I like to baste the lobster with the butter whilst it is cooking from time to time too. Remove the lobster from the pan, allow to cool until you can handle it and chop the meat into pieces.

3. Using the same frying pan, add in the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the wine. Simmer and reduce the wine by half before adding the cream and saffron. Stir well to ensure the saffron colours the cream evenly. Season to taste before adding the lobster pieces back into the pan. Gently warm through and toss with the garganelli before adding a sprinkle of parsley.

Lobster and delicate saffron cream garganelli- treat yourself to a little luxury!